Silence Yourself Savages Remote Control ★★★★✩
THIS all-female London quartet is the new darling of post-punk, but before we get to the new it’s worth acknowledging the old that has inspired its 38-minute assault on the senses. Singer Jehnny Beth has absorbed Siouxsie Sioux and Patti Smith on her way to fronting Savages, with the former the most constant presence in Beth’s predominantly angst-ridden delivery. Her colleagues Gemma Thompson (guitar), Ayse Hassan (bass) and Fay Milton (drums) create a sinister throb around her, particularly Hassan, whose melodic, punchy basslines drive most of the 11 songs. That’s particularly apparent on the mid-paced Strife and the opening Shut Up, which is preceded by a clip of dialogue from the John Cassavetes film Opening
Night. ‘‘ How old are you really?’’ says a voice. The age reference is a recurring theme on these twisted tales of adolescent rage, bewilderment and assertiveness. City’s Full is a glowing example, set over rumbling drums, flowing bass and chugging guitars, with Beth cocky and threatening and just a little charming on a song bemoaning ‘‘ skinny pretty girls’’ and their ‘‘ sissy pretty love’’. She’s engaging too on Strife, adding a coquettishness to the line ‘‘ how come I’ve been doing things with you I would never tell my mum?’’ before the song breaks down into a stark, psychedelic wash. The overall mood of Silence Yourself is threatening, a little mischievous and relentlessly exciting; just what the rock ’ n’ roll doctor ordered.